Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,002,000)
The City of Austin Office of Violence Prevention will use earmarked funds to expand and implement the Community Violence Intervention (CVI) Program Neighborhood Peace Project, now branded ATX Peace beyond current hot spot locations reaching more areas impacted by violence in Austin/Travis County. The purpose of this programming is to develop and implement comprehensive, community-based approaches to interrupt the cycle of violence in neighborhoods most impacted by gun violence in Austin/Travis County.
The Neighborhood Peace Project activities include street outreach utilizing trusted credible messengers who go into communities most impacted (hot spots) and engage individuals who are at highest risk of gun or community violence, case management that connects participants to wraparound services tailored to individual needs, conflict mediation and de-escalation techniques to prevent violence, and mobilization of the community through various events with the intention of changing norms around violence in areas most impacted. Expected outcomes of the Neighborhood Peace Project include reductions in community violence, decreases in fire-arm related incidents, and building community cohesion, trust and safety within the identified gun crime hot spot locations.
The project will continue serving highest risk residents in two areas with high violent crime rates in Northeast/Northcentral and Southeast Austin as identified by Austin Police Department data on violent crimes with further expansion to a third site at Given’s Recreational District Park in Austin. Jail to Jobs and Life Anew will be the subrecipients for the earmark award as they are currently contracted with the City of Austin Office of Violence Prevention to provide Community Violence Intervention services under the branded program ATX Peace.
This approach is in-line with Austin’s participation in the Biden-Harris Administration CVI Collaborative designed to reduce gun violence. The program will tailor services to the needs and strengths of neighborhoods and create more opportunities for living without violence. By investing in the healing, safety, and stability of community members most likely to commit violence, the program will break cycles of violence and reduce gun violence.